Good food for good thought

Posted on October 9, 2013

The World Health Organization has famously acknowledged that “there is no health without mental health.”

According to a report published December last year by Dietitians of Canada, nutrition is thought to play a role in many ways when it comes to mental health. Such factors include societal shifts, modification of the typical diet, food insecurity, genetics, prenatal nutrition, long-term poor nutrition, cortisol depletion, energy and glucose, antioxidant effects, neurotransmitter effects and membrane function. All are thought to be nutritional contributors to whether or not a person develops a mental illness.

So, what specific foods and nutrients are powerful for optimal mental health? According to a 2007 report in the Psychological Bulletin by the American Psychological Association, nutrients commonly associated with mental health include good polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 types; minerals such as zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper and iron; B vitamins such as folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12; and antioxidant vitamins such as C and E.

Similar to other recent research, the findings showed that women who regularly consumed a diet of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and high-quality meat and fish cut their risk for anxiety disorders and major and chronic depression by more than 30 per cent. In comparison, people studies who ate a “Western” diet, i.e. high in refined or processed foods and saturated fats, had a 50 per cent increased chance for depression.

Source material from The Telegram